Home > Uncategorized > Are all Nissan dealerships this inane or just mine?

Are all Nissan dealerships this inane or just mine?

You’ll never believe this:
I had done a lot of research before buying my car so by the time I wandered into a dealership, there was very little for the sales guy to do. I would be the easiest sell ever. The question then was which lucky dealership would get my easy sale?
A friend of mine was also buying a Nissan Versa so she called her dealer of choice to see what they would do to get both of our sales. They offered me 12 free oil changes. The dealer I was going to use that was conveniently located near my work was only offering me 4. (And the reason I say ‘conveniently located’ is because you want to drop off your car in the morning, walk to work, work, then walk back to pick up the car after work. You don’t sit around waiting for them to change your oil.)
So I decided to purchase my car from Airport Nissan in Brampton. It’s about 35 km from my home (a 45 minute drive in good traffic).
During my purchase experience (which took three visits to the dealership):
1. I had phoned and made an appt with my sales guy for after work. When I arrived, the hostess said that he was with another customer and would be with me shortly so I sat down and waited. At one point, the salesman saw me and said "What are you doing here?" (Correct me if I’m wrong, but this is NEVER a good thing to say to someone about to give you $18k.) I reply with "I called and spoke with you today and we made an appt for me to be here." He then stammered a bit and said he was a bit flakey and that he’d be right with me. So I continued waiting. As soon as I made the decision to give him 5 more minutes before taking my business elsewhere, he came back. So I purchased my car.
2. Once you make the car purchase, you go through that dreadful attempt to get more of your money through additional warranties and rust protection. Ugh. I hate buying cars.
3. Then as I was leaving, they show me a copy of a satisfaction survey that Nissan will be sending me and encourage me to fill it out. Then they add that I HAVE to give them a rating of "excellent" as they don’t get any bonuses, etc. if they get any other rating. You know, call me insane, but I would think the best way to ensure you get an "excellent" rating for service, is to actually provide "excellent" service. And really, I didn’t require a lot of service so it isn’t difficult to do.
4. Finally, I go to pick up the car. We are looking through all the spaces in my new car and notice there’s no spare tire. We show the sales guy. He agrees there’s no spare tire and goes to get us one, saying that the vehicles are supposed to be prepared for sale and they should have noticed it wasn’t there. Good thing we looked. I would hate to have noticed after getting a flat.
As I leave, the sales guy introduces me to the service tech and tells the service tech to add 12 free oil changes to the computer. Will do. And I leave, never to return again until 6,000 km when my oil change is due.
5. The survey arrives. It asks very specific questions about the sales experience and for each of those specific situations, their performance was indeed "excellent" however, these are not things I consider important in making my car buying experience a good one. So in each category, when asked to rank my "overall" satisfaction, I had to say "poor", which I’m sure didn’t make any sense after selecting "excellent" for the specific questions. I did try to explain my answer in the itty bitty comment field, but I’m not sure I adequately expressed my dissatisfaction.
Then the survey actually asked if anyone attempted to influence my survey responses. I circled "yes" and scribbled in "but they weren’t successful!"
Then I suggested that because the survey took quite a bit of my time, they should have offered some kind of incentive for me to complete it.
I mailed it in and despite my very specific comments and suggestions for improvement (far more than what I stated in this blog), I received no call or response from Nissan.
6. The first oil change. If you’ll recall, I blogged about showing up at 8am and the service centre not having any record of a free oil change. The work order showed a "Lube, Oil & Filter with Inspection" service for $44.95 plus tax. I refused to sign it, the service clerk (although very nice) said that someone in Sales would have to fix the oversight. Sales was not open at 8am. The tech made no suggestion as to how to resolve the situation. I drove home and consulted the website to get the phone number and time the Sales area would be open (9am).
7. I call. I start to explain my problem to the receptionist. The very second she heard the words "oil change", she interrupted with "I’ll transfer you to the service desk."
"NOOOOO – don’t…" Too late. I was transferred. I asked the tech to transfer me back. Then I dealt with the receptionist who kept interrupting to try to redirect me in any way that would facilitate her being able to get me transferred away from her sooner. Finally, she transferred me somewhere, but didn’t say where. Some guy answered the phone.
I ask him which department I was talking to now. He says "sales". Excellent.
I explain to him what happened and why I was dissatisfied. He agrees that I am entitled to the free oil changes, stated that the original sales guy should have given me coupons for them and says I should have had the oil change and then when he arrived, he would have sorted it out and given me those coupons. I told him that I would have, but it wasn’t presented to me as an option. He agreed that was true. Then he said I should have brought the bill of sale. I said that I wasn’t informed I needed to do that and since I thought the free oil changes were "on the computer", why would I? He agreed.
He then asked if I wanted to return that day. Umm.. no. So we re-booked me for this Saturday at 8am. He assured me there would be an envelope with 12 free oil change coupons waiting for me when I arrived.
8. I arrived for my oil change. No envelope waiting for me. But this service tech remembers that I was entitled to a free oil change and told me he’d do it and that someone from sales would sort it out before I left today. This was progress. I agreed.
9. After an hour, my car was ready. I sign the papers and get a receipt. On it, it said that I received the "Express Oil & Filter", which is a $35.95 package and doesn’t include a check of my tire inflation, nor does it inspect the condition of anything on my car, nor does it top up my fluids – all things offered in the $44.95 package they were going to charge me for last week. Essentially, they just replaced my oil and oil filter. The tech tells me that they’ll have my oil change coupons in just a minute.
10. Ten minutes later, a sales guy walks by and waves some coupons saying "just getting your coupons". Then he gives them to the service tech to enter in the computer and goes to blow up balloons.
11. A couple of minutes later, the tech comes back saying, "here are nine oil changes – your original ten minus the one you got today". Ha ha. I say loudly enough for the sales guy blowing up balloons to hear, "I am entitled to 12 oil changes. Not 10."
The sales guy, still blowing up balloons, says "it was just 10". I reply, "I can bring my sales slip next time and show you. It was 12." He then says, "ok – I’ll take care of it and it will be fixed by the time you come for your next oil change". I give him a look that says ‘you people are incompetant’ and leave.
12. As I get in my car, I notice the rubber sticker they put on your windshield that indicates when your next oil change is due. It says "11,600 km". Hmm… the maintenance log in my car and the maintenance schedule flyer they just gave me says my car is scheduled for an oil change every 6,000 km. Correct me if I’m wrong, but 6,600 + 6,000 = 12,600.
13. I look at my receipt and there’s a big flourescent pink sticker on it that says, "IMPORTANT. Thank you for servicing your vehicle at AIRPORT NISSAN. Your satisfation with our performance is very important to us. You will soon receive a survey from Nissan Canada. If for any reason you cannot rate us as EXCELLENT in every category please contact SERVICE MANAGER before mailing your survey. Thank you."
Aside from the obvious punctuation and grammar issues with that sticker, why on earth would they want me to call them before giving them a bad rating? Will they try to change my mind? That seems odd. Again, call me crazy, but maybe giving me excellent service in the first place is an easier way to get an excellent rating than trying to change my mind afterward AND MAKING ME PUT IN THE ADDITIONAL EFFORT OF CALLING THEM AS A COURTESY TO THEM before sending in my survey just adds insult to the injury of poor service in the first place, no?
And so far, they haven’t done anything to atone for their poor customer service already. If I were Airport Nissan and a menstrual lady called me complaining about driving 1.5 hrs for an oil change that didn’t happen because my sales guy screwed up, I would not only be ensuring that there were the promised oil changes the next time she showed up, I would have added an additional freebie or had the car washed by my detailing crew before giving the car back as an effort toward customer recovery. I would not have had the menstrual lady (who also had a shitty week at work) wait an additional ten minutes AFTER the oil change for the wrong number of oil change coupons.
I’m not a customer satisfaction genius. I did not take customer satisfaction in university (although I DID have "Alberta Best" training when working at Fort Edmonton). Maybe there’s some kind of strategy at work behind giving poor service and then waiting until someone called you before mailing their survey to do anything about it.
Perhaps they DO want me to get so annoyed that I don’t return for any more of my free oil changes. But according to their service schedule, I should be spending $400 per year minimally on maintenance packages. If they lose my $35.95 Express Oil Change business, they also lose the maintenance business.
Additionally, they also don’t realize I’m crazy enough to walk around their dealership parking lot on Saturday afternoon telling their clients that they should buy their Nissans in North York. Yes, the sales woman doesn’t know the Technology Package is $1000 extra, but she’s very nice and can’t possibly be any worse at customer service than the yahoos at Airport Nissan.
And you KNOW I’m just waiting for that survey to come.
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